Other PPVs CALDWELL'S RING OF HONOR PPV REPORT 12/18: Complete "virtual time" coverage of "Final Battle 2010" - Strong vs. Richards, Generico vs. Steen
Dec 18, 2010 - 10:10:06 PM
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ROH FINAL BATTLE PPV REPORT
December 18, 2010
Live in New York City
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
A combination of PPV orders and GoFightLive's website moving like it's 1997 means the stream was finally accessible 13 minutes past the scheduled start time. Already in the ring were the participants in the opening tag match. Kevin Kelly and Dave Prazak are on the call tonight.
1 -- ALL NIGHT EXPRESS (KENNY KING & RHETT TITUS) vs. ADAM COLE & KYLE O'REILLY
The announcers hyped King and Titus's quest to become ROH tag champions in 2011. King and Titus dominated early on to get over their mission to become champs. Cole and O'Reilly then came back with a sequence of big, flashy moves that popped the crowd. It was their high point of the match, as Titus and King eventually won with a tag combination.
WINNERS: King & Titus in 10:00.
Post-match: The camera cut to Kelly and Prazak, who apparently didn't know they were on camera. King and Titus celebrated with two ladies of questionable virtue who were ringside.
Announcers: Kelly read a statement that ROH is removing itself from any responsibility from the Kevin Steen vs. El Generico match because of how heated the feud has become. Yet, they'll still be airing the match. One of those attempts to enhance a feud and set expectations for a wild brawl that collapses upon itself in the logic department.
2 -- COLT CABANA vs. T.J. PERKINS
Nice start to the match with an exchange of mat holds in an entertaining fashion as Cabana trapped Perkins's body in a leglock. This led to Cabana applying the Billy Goat's Curse at 6:00. Perkins escaped, then Cabana trapped T.J.'s wrists to the mat and secured a three count for the pin. They adhered to the Code of Honor after the match and shook hands to show respect for each other.
WINNER: Cabana in 8:00. Entertaining match that didn't try to steal the show, but got over Cabana's more-serious, business-like approach to his singles career with the right dose of comedy mixed in with technical wrestling.
Haze-Del Rey video: They rolled a video package on the Sara Del Rey vs. Daizee Haze feud that included their excellently-produced sit-down interview soundbytes from the TV episodes leading to the PPV.
3 -- SARA DEL REY & SERENA DEEB vs. DAIZEE HAZE & AWESOME KONG
Serena, formerly of SES in WWE, has grown back most of her hair to a Roxxi-like haircut. Haze was going for a more serious look dressed like Kong. Good change to sell the intensity of the feud and importance of the stage. Haze and Del Rey started things off, then Serena tagged in and the crowd chanted "C-M Punk." Haze teased a tag to Kong, but Serena cut off Haze. The heel women's wrestlers worked over Serena continuing to build toward Kong entering the match. Haze finally broke free from Serena and reached Kong for a tag while Del Rey tagged in for the heels. Kong landed signature power offense and scored a two count. The crowd chanted, "Kong's going to kill you" ala Samoa Joe. Kong hit the Implant Buster butterfly suplex, but Del Rey kicked out of a pin attempt. The action broke down with all four women in the ring trading blows. Haze tried to wrap up Del Rey in a submission, but Haze countered with a triangle choke into an emphatic suplex for a close two count. A piledriver didn't finish off Haze either. The announcers sold their surprise on Haze kicking out twice. Serena then dropped Kong with a spear and Del Rey landed a second piledriver on Haze for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Del Rey & Serena in 8:00. Very enjoyable, competitive tag match where the women each had something to prove. It was refreshing to see Serena in a position to look credible in the ring and everyone came out looking good.
4 -- EDDIE EDWARDS vs. SONJAY DUTT
Very fast pace to begin things with a rapid-fire exchange of holds, counters, and blocks. They came to a standstill and Dutt extended a hand for a shake before slapping Edwards across the face. Dutt ran away and slid under the ring, then reappeared on the other side. Dutt snuck up behind Edwards, but took his eyes off Edwards to taunt the camera with his handy work, only to turn around and find a slap to the face from Edwards. The announcers noted Edwards was working hurt with an injured shoulder, which came into play during the match to slow down Edwards's offensive attack. Edwards landed a double stomp to Dutt's back before snapping off a modified fisherman suplex for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Edwards in 11:00. Good showcase for Edwards as a future singles main-eventer in ROH. Dutt was also impressive with the offensive display he brought to the table reminiscent of his X Division days.
Video package: Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin debuting in ROH against the Kings of the Wrestling at the last Internet PPV in New York City three months ago. In a pre-taped video message, Haas talked about finally receiving an opportunity to showcase good tag wrestling and they vowed to return to ROH.
Sit-down interview: Jim Cornette was with Haas and Benjamin in Louisville at the TV tapings last week. They have an important announcement to make. Benjamin talked about being back in Louisville, where he trained for WWE at OVW. Benjamin talked up his career accomplishments and working with Brock Lesnar. Haas talked up his amateur wrestling background. Cornette said that's one of the reasons they came to ROH to compete in a more wrestling-based environment. Haas made their announcement that they will be seen regularly in ROH. He said their next goal is to become ROH tag champions. Cornette signed off and Shelton quickly added he feels goose bumps just thinking about it.
Video package: They aired the black-and-white silent movie-style video feature on the Kevin Steen vs. El Generico feud that aired on Monday's ROH TV setting up the blow-off match tonight.
After the series of video packages, they returned to a hard camera shot of the building for the remaining ten minutes of intermission. ... Back from intermission, Kelly and Prazak fed to another video package on Steen vs. Generico.
In-ring: "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett came to ringside for a closer look at the next action. His cartoon manager, Bob Evans, stood over his shoulder encouraging him. New TV champion Christopher Daniels came out for the next match and shot a look toward Bennett.
5 -- TV champion CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. HOMICIDE (w/Julius Smokes) -- non-title match
Before the bell sounded, the crowd chanted, "F--- TNA." This was followed by an "R-O-H" chant. And the bell sounded with the crowd hot for a battle of long-time ROH stars. The action quickly moved to the floor where Daniels gained an early advantage with a springboard moonsault on Homicide. Back in the ring, Homicide snapped off three successive suplexes ala Eddie Guerrero for a nearfall. Homicide then smashed Daniels on the floor with a suicide dive that excited Smokes. The action returned to the ring where the men traded control. Homicide teased the Cop Killer, but Daniels countered with a uranage.
Daniels missed with the Best Moonsault Ever, then the ref was bumped in the corner. The crowd didn't like that. Homicide then hit the Ace Crusher moments later and the ref was in position to make the three count for Homicide to win. Afterward, Daniels complained to the referee that he got in the way as he was attempting Angel's Wings. Post-match: Bennett got on the ring apron and tossed the TV Title to Daniels. "Hey, Chris, that was a real impressive win," he said sarcastically. Daniels stared a hole through Bennett, who left with a big smile.
WINNER: Homicide in 11:00. Homicide continues his march to an ROH World Title shot. Nice, competitive match before the odd finish. Both men have looked reinvigorated since returning to ROH.
Video package: Briscoes vs. Kings of Wrestling feud. ... In-ring: After everyone made their way to the ring, Papa Briscoe took the mic. Papa said the issue tonight is him against Hagadorn. Papa, who was actually dressed like a Briscoe with the basketball-looking shorts and high-knee boots, tried to get Hagadorn in the ring, but Hagadorn hid behind the KOW on the floor.
6 -- ROH tag champions KINGS OF WRESTLING (CHRIS HERO & CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI) & SHANE HAGADORN (w/Sara Del Rey) vs. BRISCOES (JAY & MARK & PAPA)
Shane made an early mistake accidentally slapping Hero when a Briscoe ducked, which drew Hero's ire. Claudio then took control of the match to erase Shane's error. The Kings dropped Jay with a double-team move and gloated to the crowd. Shane tagged in and stomped Jay, who started no-selling. Shane ran to the corner and tagged in Claudio while Papa Briscoe tagged in. Claudio posed, so Papa posed. Papa suddenly busted out a spinning head scissors, but Del Rey yanked Papa out of the ring. Papa teased dropping Del Rey, but opted for a big kiss instead. Prazak said Papa should be fired. The referee then decided to eject Del Rey from ringside.
After that break in the action, the Kings worked over Mark Briscoe. Shane strategically tagged in for a forearm here and there. Mark then escaped when the KOW had another miscommunication and he tagged in Jay. Hero and Jay battled in the ring, finishing with Hero absolutely blasting Jay with a boot to the face. Claudio then tagged in and did his "I'm a big, tall, muscular man" walk before nailing a pop-up European Uppercut on Jay. Claudio wanted a Ricola Bomb, but Jay escaped into a Death Valley Driver. Mark then tagged in and hit an awkward-looking frog splash elbow. Mark and Claudio traded blows before hitting a double knock-down clothesline.
Hagadorn and Papa tagged in. The crowd was booing Papa throughout the match. Hero teased a blow on Papa, but Jay blasted Hero with a kick. The action broke down and Hagadorn punted Jay in the crotch. Papa then tackled Hagadorn to defend the honor of his sons. The Kings pulled Hagadorn out of the ring, but the Briscoes hit a double splash on the heels ringside. Papa then won over the crowd teasing a big cannonball splash on everyone, but Hagadorn yanked him out of the ring. Papa gave chase, ended up back in the ring, and took a huge roaring elbow from Hero. That should have completely knocked out a non-wrestler, but he came back with a Stunner moments later. The Briscoes then set up the Doomsday Device on Shane and Papa came off the top to complete it with a clothesline. It was good for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Briscoes in 16:00. And The Briscoes scored the final blow to complete the feud with Shane getting his comeuppance. I have a major issue with Papa taking a huge elbow strike from Hero, then recovering moments later and hitting a top-rope move for the finish. Papa, as a non-wrestler, should have been out on a stretcher at that point.
In-ring: They went straight to the ROH World Title match, with the Steen vs. Generico "unsanctioned fight" reserved for the end of the show. Richards was dressed like an MMA fighter and grew out his hair for a different look.
7 -- ROH World champion RODERICK STRONG (w/Truth Martini) vs. DAVEY RICHARDS -- ROH World Title match
Richards went for an early Texas Cloverleaf, but Strong escaped. Richards played a very confident challenger early on as the announcers noted Strong didn't have an answer for Richards's offense. The stream cut out momentarily and the action resumed with Martini putting Strong's boot on the bottom rope to escape a submission hold. Strong finally scored with some trademark offensive sequences before Richards knocked Strong to the outside. Richards nailed a signature flying dive that sent both men flying into the front row.
Back in the ring, Richards came off the top with a big missile dropkick. This was followed by a standing boot. They traded forearm blows before Richards decked Strong and applied a submission. Strong escaped, then took the Alarm Clock kick. Richards followed with successive kick strikes before nailing a top-rope diving headbutt for a nearfall. Richards applied a cross-arm breaker center ring, but Strong rolled to the ropes for a break. They came to their feet and traded rapid-fire forearms, slaps, kicks, and punches. Richards eventually snapped off ten straight kick strikes in the corner that drew applause from the crowd. Richards hit a running punt to the chest for a field goal before nailing a German Suplex with a bridge for a nearfall.
At 20:00, both men caught their breath on the mat. Kelly said many people have labeled Strong as a "transitional champion," but he's trying to prove that he's not. The action resumed in the corner where Richards executed a fallaway belly-to-back superplex. Richards applied a submission center ring and the ref suddenly occupied himself with Martini. Strong tapped out center ring, but the ref had his back to the action. Richards then blasted Martini with a running kick strike and ran up top for a 450 Splash on Strong for a very close two count.
Strong recovered rather quickly and came back with a top rope suplex dropping Richards's arm across the top turnbuckle. Strong made a cover that was good for a nearfall only. On the ring apron, Strong countered a suplex and gave Richards a Gibson Driver through the announce table to the floor. Strong chucked Richards over the top rope to the front row and demanded a 20 count be applied. Richards made it back in the ring at 19 and Strong immediately followed with a Gibson Driver, but Richards kicked out. Strong then applied the Boston Crab and Richards managed to slip out into an Anklelock. Richards transitioned to a Cloverleaf, but Strong countered with a LeBell Lock.
At 28:00, they came to their feet and started trading strikes and kicks. Richards scored a nearfall, then reapplied the Anklelock. Richards couldn't maintain the hold and sold an injury. the ref checked on Richards, who slowly pulled himself up to his feet. Strong took advantage with a corner strike into a fallaway backbreaker. Strong nailed a signature kick to the head and it was only good for a nearfall. Strong immediately followed with a backbreaker and superkick, then another kick strike. This was only good for a two count again. Strong then applied a Boston Crab bent like a Liontamer with a knee in the back. The ref called for the bell, indicating Richards was done.
Post-match: Refs stormed the ring to check on Richards's condition as he remained facedown center-ring selling the effects of the match. Strong and Martini celebrated on the way out of the ring as Richards was rolled onto his back. There was a noticeable cut on the left side of Richards's head. Jim Cornette entered the ring to also check on Richards as ROH ring announcer Bobby Cruise said Richards might have suffered a concussion. Richards eventually sat up and sold shock as he was informed he lost. (There's your out.) The announcers debated whether Richards passed out or tapped out for the finish as the crowd applauded Richards's efforts. Richards eventually came to his feet as Eddie Edwards joined him in the ring. The crowd chanted, "Best in the world," as Richards argued with Edwards, who was trying to console him.
WINNER: Strong at 30:30 to retain the ROH World Title. Good piece of booking giving Strong a convincing victory, but also giving Richards an "out" with the "concussion angle" at the end of the match after he was dominant for about 65 percent of the match. Strong vs. Homicide seems to be the next match on the menu after Homicide's victory tonight. Richards is an amazing performer and Strong wrestles at a main event level, but the lack of long-term selling was an issue. (****1/4)
Announcers: Kelly and Prazak said this is usually where they sign off, but there's still an unsanctioned match. Prazak said their broadcast is done for all intents and purposes. The lights went dark and Kelly said this will be a Lights Out match. The lights came back on as Cruise announced the following match will be unsanctioned and ROH has obtained outside funding to obtain insurance for the match. Cruise also announced the stipulations are still in play where Generico must unmask if he loses and Steen must leave ROH if he loses. He warned the viewing audience that the following content may be disturbing.
8 -- KEVIN STEEN vs. EL GENERICO -- Unsanctioned match
The announcers noted the referee is present only to render a final decision in the match. The action moved to the outside where Generico introduced a chain to use against Steen. Generico landed successive blows with the chain followed by a Yakuza kick in the corner. Steen rolled to the floor and it was apparent he was busted open. Generico went looking for more blood with strikes to the forehead. Steen recovered a bit, then powerbombed Generico back-first across the edge of the ring apron. Steen then licked his own blood off his arm and the crowd chanted, "You sick f---." Steen began clearing the ROH logo covers on the barricade and stacked them on top of Generico to land a frog splash from the ring apron.
Steen went looking for a complete portion of the barricade and tried to chuck it at Generico, who ran out of the way in time. Back in the ring, Steen countered a suplex into a back-drop across a ladder that sent Generico back-first into the rungs. Steen then painted Generico's back with blood from his forehead. At 10:00, Steen began toying with Generico before landing a lift-up powerbomb. Steen played to the crowd, then left the ring to taunt the crowd directly. Steen retrieved a chair in the process and threw it toward Generico's head. He cracked the chair over Generico's back, shredding the chair. He retrieved a second chair, threw it down, flipped off someone in the crowd, and began ripping off Generico's mask. Steen went back to using the chair as a weapon to land a somersault leg drop.
Generico came up bleeding underneath the mask and Steen became quite excited. Steen wiped some blood off Generico's face and licked it before rubbing it over his body and hair. Prazak noted he was bathing in Generico's blood. Steen then dragged Generico to the ropes and sarcastically asked Kevin Kelly if this turns him on as he wiped Generico's blood. Steen took too much time taunting Generico, who came back with a suplex across the edge of the ladder. Generico followed with a t-bone suplex onto the ladder, then a German Suplex onto the ladder for a nearfall.
At 20:00, Steen tried to set up a table on top of a ladder propped up between the ring apron and guardrail. Generico then went running through the table and ladder with a flying splash into a DDT on the floor. Back in the ring, Steen wanted a Package Piledriver on a chair, but Generico countered with a brainbuster. Generico made a cover, but Steen escaped in time. They resumed their position near the table & ladder stack and teased big moves. Eventually, Generico tossed Steen off the top turnbuckle through the table, sending Steen crashing to the floor.
Back in the ring, Generico wanted another brainbuster, but transitioned into a Package Piledriver. He struggled, then connected with Steen's own finisher for a nearfall. They moved to the ring apron where Generico executed a brainbuster onto the ring apron. Steen rolled back into the ring and Generico made a cover, but Steve Corino suddenly showed up and yanked the ref out of the ring. Corino decked Generico as Kelly called Corino a SOB. Corino wanted a chair shot on Generico, but Colt Cabana showed up and stole the chair. The building groaned, thinking a swerve was coming, back he cracked the chair over Steen's head. (Why in 2010?) Generico made a cover, but Steen kicked out. Steen then shot Generico a double bird and Generico hit a Yakuza Kick on...the ref. Ref Bryce Remsburg came in, but Steen gave him a Package Piledriver. So, it goes on.
Steen set up a chair in the ring and delivered a Package Piledriver on the chair. Ref Paul Turner entered, but he counted a nearfall only. The announcers told Turner to get out of there. Steen just sat stunned in the ring. Steen scooped up Generico and placed him up top. Steen yelled at the crowd and tried a superbrainbuster, but Generico slipped out and nailed a Yakuza Kick. Generico wanted a top rope brainbuster and connected flush. Steen fell to the floor, Generico scooped him up, rolled him into the ring, and made a cover for a nearfall only. Everyone was stunned as both men caught their breath.
At 30:00, Generico picked up a chair, stared at the chair, and wound it up, but Steen held up Generico's original mask. Generico stopped, reached down and grabbed his old mask, stared at the mask, dropped it, then absolutely blasted Steen in the face with the chair. This one was good for a three count and the win. Steen is gone from ROH. Cabana joined Generico in the ring to celebrate with him as the announcers signed off.
WINNER: Generico at 31:10. Two direct chair shots to the head took away from the match. You just can't do that in any context in 2010. Removing the chair shots from the discussion, it was a fight that transcended the "walking stunt brawl" label because of how intense the action was, the story they told based on one year of build-up, and how amazing Steen is portraying a sick, twisted, demented heel. There were also the long-term selling issues, but this was an epic brawl. (****1/2)
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